Shop till You Drop (Thailand Day 5: Wed 27 June 2012)

©2012 Edward C. Lunnon

Written on Monday 30 July 2012: 5 years 10 months on … Advantage ED

The Shows would continue!  

And they did …

Our usual morning routine whilst on holiday was to get up at about 09h00, complete the 3 S’s (more S’s!) and then to proceed to the breakfast terrace, which at the Regent was open until 10h00 and in Phuket was open until 10h30. (In future, wherever you read breakfast, the procedure was basically the same as detailed here.)

So on our second day in Bangkok, we had breakfast at 09h30 on the Garden Terrace on the 5th Floor. Breakfast generally consisted of juices, fruit, cereals, various fish dishes, local Thai dishes, western dishes, eastern dishes, eggs in various varieties, pastries, cold meats, cheeses, breads, coffee, and as the King says in “The King and I” (or otherwise known as “Anna and the King of Siam “) “etc, etc, etc”!

Today was a shopping day, so the ladies headed off in one direction and we headed off south along Rajprarop Road in the direction of the Central World Centre. We were to meet up at 13h00.

On the map, the CWC is just about 2 kilometres south from the Regent. If you have been to Bangkok you will understand what one sees in those 2 kilometres. If you have not been there, let me try and explain (and please forgive me because no explanation can do any justice to the reality of this experience.)

The roads are filled with vehicles and the gaps between the vehicles are filled with scooters (something like filling a container with stones and then pouring sand into the container to fill the gaps between the stones!)

Working outwards from the centre of the road (and duplicated on both sides of the road), you get the traffic and then the sidewalk. On the sidewalk, with their backs facing to the road, you get stalls facing towards the sidewalk. The pedestrian section follows and then you have stalls facing towards the road with their backs towards the shops behind them, which also face the road.

In other words, the pedestrians – crowds of them – walk down a pathway in the centre of the sidewalk between two rows of stalls that face each other. Behind the inside row of stalls you find the open-faced shops that face the road, and often behind those shops you find tall high-rise shopping centres, and in those centres, you often find floors and floors of more stalls!

If you are confused, then that’s what the novice shopper is. Rows and rows of stalls (shops) working outwards from the road and for kilometres in front of you and behind you and left and right of you as far as the eye can see. And along every road that you can see, the scene replicates itself! 

So to walk two kilometres takes quite a while. Because you have lots to see and many merchants to bargain with … for clothing, electronic goods, souvenirs, materials, food, etc, etc, etc! (It’s no wonder the etcetera phrase is used so often in the play!)

The Central World Centre is a modern air-conditioned shopping centre similar to those that we are used to at home, but here you pay for the convenience of the air-conditioning, the assurance of the genuine brand-name, the price marked on the article and the absence of having to bargain! We spent time watching the latest 3-D TV equipment, looking at sports clobber, being massaged in elaborate lounge furniture and … and …

The unit of currency in Thailand is the baht and a convenient (though now inaccurate) method of conversion to our Rand is to divide the baht price by 4 to get the rand price. It makes things so much cheaper than they are here at home!

We strolled back to our rendezvous point with the ladies at the Platinum shopping centre. This centre is a 7-story clothing wholesaler and the girls had been here all morning. The boys climbed into the clothes, too!

Then we had a quick drink and proceeded west down Petchburi  Road and south down Phayathai Road to the MBK Centre – another more upmarket conventional shopping centre. Eight floors packed with 2,000 shops that sell everything from clothing, fashion accessories, handbags, leather products and luggage to furniture, cell phones, electric appliances, cameras, stationery and DVDs. MBK  is a beehive of activity, especially on weekends, when half of Bangkok converges to shop for bargains.

On the way there we passed a zillion stalls and popped into a 5-storey high electronics shopping centre. It was 15h30 and it was from there that I did my radio programme back home (at 10h30 SA time). Lance phoned me from SA and I chatted from the quietest place I could find in the Centre. It was also there that we had to buy an additional suitcase in order to bring back all the new clothing that was being bought. (All our SA clothing was far too hot and, anyway, everything is so much cheaper!)  

At MBK, the boys were starving and we did the unthinkable – we stopped in at a Burger King and a Starbucks – all so American and western!

Then it was home-time, and we had done enough walking. So we proceeded to the taxi rank and hailed two tuk-tuks to take us back to the Regent: a ride that also left me wondering in what direction we were actually going. The local drivers know all the backstreets and in order to avoid areas of traffic congestion, they often take side streets and alleys, making it very difficult to try and follow where they are going!

Back at the hotel, we had a swim in the pool on the 4th floor. Then at 18h30 we met in the foyer to visit the Baiyoke Sky Hotel – just a block from the Regent and the tallest building in Thailand with 88 floors. We went up to the rotating skyroof on the 84th floor and had a …. Singha, as the sun set over Bangkok and the darkness of the night and the brightness of the lights took over from the previous grey dusky urban scenes that we had witnessed from this magnificent vantage point.

Then taxi-time again! This time two proper vehicle taxis and we set off – who knows where and in what direction – but we were headed for the infamous Patpong Road (an “entertainment” district and night market), where we had supper (gross), did more … shopping (grosser) and watched a “ping-pong ball show” (grossest)!

It was just past midnight when my petrol ran out, and reluctantly I had to admit that I needed my bed. The rest of the group were hopping mad that I was breaking up the party so early – after all, the night was still a pup and they wanted to party some more!

The taxi ride back to the hotel seemed so much shorter than the ride there. I’m sure Patpong Road was far closer to our hotel than I had imagined!

It was already Thursday morning when I put my head down on the pillow. We had to get up earlier, as later on Thursday we were flying to Phuket and needed to get to the airport.

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

ED is in week EnDing Mon 30 July 2012

5 years 10 months on … Advantage ED

  • Sun 22: Els wins British Open; Amla scores 300 runs vs England
  • Mon 23: Gardened with Sandy
  • Tues 24: Visit from Sr Gill (Hospice)
  • Wed 25: AlgoaFM (Sean lift); afternoon drinks at Bridge St
  • Thu 26: Visit from Nadine, Isaac; massage by Julian; Haircut
  • Fri 27: Opening Ceremony of Olympics – London; Hosted Grey Bloem boys
  • Sat 28: Farmers’ Market; Rugby (mudbath) vs Grey Bloem (Phil lost 4th’s; 1st Team lost); Drinks @ Pavilion
  • Sun 29: HomemakersExpo @ Moffett on Main; Gym; Olympic Games – Van den Burgh gets gold 100m Breaststroke

 

Taken for a Ride (Thailand Day 4: Tuesday 26 June 2012)

©2012 Edward C. Lunnon

Written on Thursday 26 July 2012: 5 years 10 months on … Advantage ED

At 06h00 local time on Tuesday morning 26 June we disembarked and entered the ultra-modern Suvarnabhumi International Airport – straight into passport/ customs control and what would be our sauna for the next two weeks.

We were promptly met by our Royal Orchid Holidays tour representative, taken to our two air-conditioned mini-bus taxis and then left the airport.

As would become the norm throughout the trip, I sat in the front passenger’s seat next to the driver. I didn’t want to miss a thing.

The trip to our hotel in early morning rush-hour traffic took about an hour. Along the freeway into the city (driving on the left), as would also be the norm throughout the trip, there were pictures of the King and Queen of Thailand on elaborate bulkheads over the road, Shrines, Temples, run-down buildings juxtaposed by tall modern high-risers, green lush tropical vegetation, signs in the curvy Thai alphabet (usually also in English), and just more and more roads with more and more traffic!

The 40 year old Indra Regent Hotel was somewhere in the midst of a sprawling, busy Bangkok. At 07h00 we could not check in yet, so we completed the documentation, left the luggage and “hit” the City, hot and tired and in dire need of a shower.

First, we apprehensively ventured into the market in front of the hotel. This was our first taste of Thailand, and we reluctantly took those first bites.

“U wan t-shirtttttt … u wan t-rouserrrrr … u wan T-hai massaaaaaage … u wan t-ailormade soooot …  u wan ping-pong ball shooooooowwwww … u wanna buyyyyyyy … wha tju waaaaan t?” would be the ongoing chant of the next two weeks, coming at you from all angles and from all sides wherever you went – a high-pitched cacophony choir of Thai merchants selling themselves and their every ware everywhere!

I think it became a bit much for us and, after a short while, we retreated from the shopping and regrouped at the hotel to plan our next move. (More and more and more and more … and much more shopping would come later as we became more acquainted and more adventurous!)

And so, against all advice we had read in the books, we negotiated a “good” price with the owners of two “tuk-tuks” right in front of the hotel to take us to our list of the “temple, the Buddha and the river.”

I sat with my map in the front, but decided very quickly to close it. There was no way that I could follow where we were going, what direction we were going or where we were headed! I’d rather just savour the ride and look at the City!

Every picture tells a story and all the pics we took will tell far better what we experienced and saw.

But for a long while, we did not see “the Temple, the Buddha or the River.”! We saw the clothing shop, the suit shop, the jewellery shop and any other shop that we later learnt were the obligatory stops on any such “well-priced, negotiated” rides. The bulk of the payment received for such a trip came in the form of petrol coupons from the owners of the establishments to which we, the gullible tourists, were taken!   

But we were seeing Bangkok, and loving it!

It was only after some hours that we became emphatic and insisted that we had not yet seen what we had arranged with our drivers to see.

So we were then taken to the river, and to another “mate” of the tuk-tuk drivers who was just another component in the tourist supply chain – the boat owner!

Our ride continued – down the river and along the canals. Squalor interleaved by opulent temples and shrines were the sights of the morning. And in the quietest parts of the dirty canals we were introduced to the next cog in the tourist shopping experience – the floating shops that arrived from “no-where” and tried to sell us their wares – from beer to pot-plants!

The beers were passed into our boat (and would have been welcome given the heat and our jet-lagged thirsts!) but as novices to the bartering and negotiating skills required, we could not agree on a price and all the beers went back onto the “floating shelves”! (Later, some in the group, especially Phillip, became quite adept at negotiating “good” prices for anything and everything that one would possibly want to purchase!)

When we were dropped off to disembark at at a pier on the river, we were even approached by the “pier owner” to pay for those landing rights! It almost ended up in a scuffle when we refused to pay, and suddenly when people started appearing on the decks of all the boats moored there, I had visions of a Bruce Lee kung-fu fight taking place! Luckily not, and we were spared to continue to the Reclining Buddha and seeing one of the many temples and palaces.

 

Our weariness soon got to us and after two pm sometime we hailed a taxi (two) to take us back to the hotel to check in. We bargained a price (as one does for everything) and the children left in the first taxi and the adults in the second. I must say I felt a little bit anxious as I saw our kids drive off into bustling Bangkok!

What were a mere few kilometres on the map took forever, and at one stage we didn’t move for almost forty minutes. We just took in and savoured the traffic jam, the lanes of brightly coloured Japanese cars, trucks, taxis, bakkies, buses, tuk-tuks and scooters; the buildings; the parks; the shops and the seething mass of humanity that make up this smelting pot of human existence.

At last, in our room 1419 on the 14th floor, we had a shower, had a brief power-nap, and then ventured into the hotel shopping precinct, the Indra Shopping Arcade offering heaps of ready-to-wear garments and souvenirs, had our first Thai lunch, shopped and slept a brief while more.

Later that evening, we headed safely down a darkish street to find a suitable Thai eating place (always very tasty and very inexpensive), Singhas (many), red wine (from SA) and our many “cheers” on the survival of our first day in Thailand!

On our way back to the hotel, the traffic continued into the night … and the shopping continued in the night markets which had seamlessly sprung up and replaced the day markets when darkness descended upon the City.

At that stage, my humour left me and my surly side stepped in. No more for me … I returned to the hotel (bumped into and chatted to the Gotz’s from PLett in the lobby) and then crashed into my personal queen-sized hotel-bed. No wonder! It was Tuesday night and since waking up in Pretoria on Monday morning, I had been on the go for 45 hours (ironically, the number of ordinary hours allowed by law in South Africa for a whole week’s work)!

Thailand was called Siam in the past. The letter S seems to prefix many words that I could write much about. Suffice to say:

At an average temperature of 30 degrees and a humidity of 80%, we had sat, sauntered and swum on Day 1 in the steambath which is the society of Bangkok.

We had seen, smelt, sweated and savoured just some of the sights, sounds, splendour, sky, streets, signs, scooters, sidewalks, suburbs, swamps, skyscrapers, sunshades, supermarkets,  shops,  sanctuaries, sacredness, spirituality, security, salesmanship, service, salutations, speech, sincerity, spirit, sandals, shoes, shorts, suits, skirts, sarongs, satins, silks, sapphires, scenery, scents, smells, shelters, shrubs, suppers, soups, stir-fry, shrimps, sauces, Singhas, schools, scholars and souvenirs.

The shows would continue!  

 

 

 

Going East (Thailand Day 3: Monday 25 June 2012)

©2012 Edward C. Lunnon

Written on Tuesday 24 July 2012: 5 years 10 months on … Advantage ED

Monday morning was an early wake-up and then we were dropped off by Samantha at the Oliver Tambo airport round about 09h00. The journey was about to begin!

First, we had to find Terminal B and the Bryants. We would be travelling together with Alison and Nick, and Sean’s friend and schoolmate David, his girlfriend Victoria and Phillip’s hostel mate Richard.

Finding Terminal B was not easy. In the process we found Tony Reeler with whom we would be staying on our return to Pretoria. He and his Pretoria Boys High rugby team were heading off to Zimbabwe on a rugby tour.

Then we found the Bryants, checked in, passed through passport control, declared our equipment and ended up in the duty-free shopping area. The shopping began with a few bottles of red wine, Amarula and whiskey! (We had been advised that this was expensive in Thailand and our alcohol allowance was 1 litre per person.)

Thai Airways International Flight TG992, a Boeing 777-200/300, was slightly late but when boarding began, per my arrangements with the airlines, we were allowed to board first at 12h45.

At 13h40 we took off – headed east from Johannesburg to Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok, Thailand (BKK) over Madagascar and the Indian Ocean.

We were scheduled to land at BKK at 06h00 their time and in the process we would lose 5 hours of the day. When we landed it would be only 1am in Johannesburg – just about time to go to sleep. But I did not sleep a wink.

After lunch, I settled in and watched Brave Heart and The Iron Lady. That took up some four hours of the 11 hour flight. Sleep was out of the question, and I spent a great deal of time watching our progress on the map in front of me.

I had boarded with my leg-brace on and was sitting on the aisle with my leg in the passage (this despite having arranged with the airline to seat me in a row with extra legroom!). Needless to say, everyone passing by bumped into me and the trolleys carrying the meals and the SINGHA beer had very little room to manoeuvre. So I had taken my leg-brace off some few hours into the flight and stowed it away in the overhead locker.

Then it was breakfast time and time to “embrace”!

 It was dark when we saw the lights of Bangkok appear below us – extending in all directions.

At 06h00 local time on Tuesday morning 26 June we disembarked and entered the ultra-modern Suvarnabhumi International Airport – straight into customs control and what would be our sauna for the next two weeks.

ED is in departED (Thailand Days 1 and 2: Sat/Sun 23/24 June 2012)

©2012 Edward C. Lunnon

Written on Sunday 22 July 2012: 5 years 10 months on … Advantage ED

 It was about half past seven in the morning of Saturday 23 June 2012 – the first day of our trip to Thailand.

We were packed and ready to go. Cheryl Price picked us up at home and we were on the way to the Port Elizabeth airport.

E-tickets checked, luggage weighed and handed over (only three bags to the hold because Pera and I were sharing a bag) and then we were off through security (bells ringing as a result of my leg brace) and to the departure lounge.

Everyone appeared to be coming to Port Elizabeth for the big rugby test and I thought that we would be the only ones leaving and going in the opposite direction. I was wrong.

Kulula Flight MN6238 (aka British Airways between Port Elizabeth and JHB and complete with a free (!) morning snack and drink) was full, departed on time at 08h50 and took us safely to Johannesburg.

An hour and a half later, at 10h30, we were collecting our luggage at the carousel at Oliver Tambo International Airport.  

Whilst waiting for the luggage to arrive, I was approached by a gentleman who had sat in front of us on the plane. “You’re ED from AlgoaFM aren’t you?” he asked, “I recognised your voice on the plane!”

He, his wife and son were also bound for Bangkok and when I asked if they were from Port Elizabeth, he replied that they were from Plettenberg Bay.

“Small world”, I said, “we are also travelling with a Plett family!”

 “Who are they?” I was asked.

“The Bryants”, I replied.

Well, it transpired that the Gotz’s are household friends of the Bryants, their son James and David Bryant are in Helderberg Residence and at Stellenbosch University together, and we would be having supper together in Bangkok on Wednesday evening!

It’s a small world after all! It’s a small, small world!

Rupert Upton picked us up and we were off to Pretoria. (Rupert and Samantha worked with me at P&P and we have spent many a holiday with them over the years – either at their home in Waterkloof Glen, Pretoria or at their holiday home in Plett, just around the corner from the Bryants. We tried to remember the dates, but time has taken its toll! I think we celebrated Rupert’s 40th birthday (17 July) in Pretoria when Nelson Mandela celebrated his 80th at Sandton Square in Johannesburg on 18 July 1998. Their parties were on the same night and I designed the invitations (for Rupert’s party, not Nelson’s!), and we flew up for the weekend.

We also spent time in Pretoria with them when we visited the Kruger Park in 2005(?), Sun City in June/July 2006 (just before I became ill) and Kruger Park again in July 2008 (just after I became ill – supposedly our last family holiday!) when Rupert celebrated his 50th birthday.

So we were spending this weekend with them before we departed for Bangkok on Monday morning. It was a relaxing weekend and great catching up. On Saturday afternoon we were joined by mutual friends Lisa and Brendon and watched the Springbok vs England test in Port Elizabeth (thank goodness we didn’t stay for that!) and had dinner.

Sunday morning was a late brunch on the stoep overlooking Menlyn Park, followed by dinner, last-minute checks, repacking for Thailand and for leaving a “winter” suitcase in Pretoria for our return.

Monday morning was an early wake-up and then dropped off by Samantha at the Oliver Tambo airport round about 09h00. The journey was about to begin!

 

ED is in week EnDing Mon 23 July 2012

5 years 10 months on … Advantage ED

  • Sun 15: Unpacked; lunch at Angelo’s
  • Mon 16: Rugby vs Buenos Aires School at Grey; Sean ref; supper at Old Grey
  • Tues 17: Visit from Sr Gill (Hospice), Annette Jones; Haircut
  • Wed 18: AlgoaFM (Loines lift), Charles Pautz at Bluewaters; lunch at Bridge St with Sean and Matt; supper (braai) with tourists from Liverpool
  • Thu 19: Visit from Nadine; watched Phil play rugby vs Liverpool; pizza build for supper with Liverpudlians; massage by Julian
  • Fri 20: Dentist to repair broken tooth; lunch with Sean at Angelo’s ; walk with Charlie on golf course; visit by Isaac
  • Sat 21: Rugby vs Daniel Pienaar at Uitenhage (Phil won 4th’s; 1st Team lost); 3 CD’s of photo’s from Bryants!
  • Sun 22: Spent the day editing Thailand photo’s; Thai-Ed!

Life is a Holiday

©2012 Edward C. Lunnon

Tuesday 17 July 2012: 5 years 10 months on … Advantage ED

Before we left on our holiday to Thailand, we did a lot of research, homework and preparation. We read books, searched the internet and chatted to people who had been there before.

We packed appropriately, got our documentation in order and ensured that we had the correct currency.

In short, we ensured that we were well-prepared for the trip.

Then, off we went.

We knew we had limited time and that the trip would end. So we ensured that we used every available moment at our disposal. Time spent sleeping or in hotel rooms was wasted, so we did as much as we possibly could in the days available to us.

Time not utilised was lost to us – we would not pass that way again and would not be able to recoup the moments lost.

We had to live in each and every moment, enjoy the moment, savour the moment, relish the moment, delight in the moment, take pleasure in the moment, appreciate the moment and value the moment.

Sometimes, one is so busy taking photographs in order to save the moment for future memories that you are unable to take the pleasure in the fullness of that very moment.

There would be no time for regrets, no going back and no doing it over again.

And even when we realised that our time was running out fast, that we only had so “many sleeps” left and that the end was certain, it didn’t help to lament about it – we just had to keep on going and do as much as possible.

Along the way, we appreciated everything we saw. We marvelled at the world around us. Despite the weather sometimes being good and sometimes bad, we had to make do with what came our way. Despite the heat, the humidity and conditions far from ideal, we persevered. Despite heavy monsoon rains, we made alternative plans to lying on the beach – we hired scooters and bought rain ponchos and continued to explore the island of Phuket and enjoy ourselves.

It didn’t help blaming the fact that we hadn’t always made sufficient preparations to cover all eventualities. We had to make decisions on the fly.

And, yes, before we knew it, it was over – as we say here in South Africa: finished and klaar!

The question is how did the experience change us and what will we remember; and what did we do to make a difference to the lives of those we met along the way? Will they and how will they remember us?

Such is life!

In our formative years, we prepare with the help of others, at home and at school, for the journey that lies ahead of us. It is essential that we are well-prepared.

We know that our time is limited on this earth so we should not procrastinate, not delay, but make the most of every moment of our life. We should not waste – not even a single moment.

Time not utilised is lost to us – we will not pass this way again and we will not be able to recoup a single moment lost.

We have to live in each and every moment, enjoy the moment, savour the moment, relish the moment, delight in the moment, take pleasure in the moment, appreciate the moment and value the moment.

Somehow, it is so difficult to do that. We are often so busy blaming our past and preparing for our future that we lose our present, and that particular moment that we are living in.

But there is no time for regrets, no going back and no doing it over again. An unutilised moment passed is a moment lost!

And when our time runs out, when we only have so “many sleeps” left and the end becomes certain, it won’t help to lament about our life – we just have to keep on going and do as much as is possible in the time we have left.

Along the way, we must appreciate everything we see. We can only marvel at the world around us.

Despite the odds, we have to make do with what comes our way. When we have excellent conditions, we must make the most of them. Despite adverse conditions, we must persevere and make alternative plans and continue to enjoy ourselves.

And before we know it, when it is all finished and klaar, the question will be: “How did the experience of life change us and what will we take with us. What did we do to make a difference to the lives of those we met along the way? Will they remember us and how will they remember us?

After all, life should be a holiday!

 

 

 

 

Come back to Earth with a Bump! (Thailand Day 22)

©2012 Edward C. Lunnon

Monday 16 July 2012: 5 years 10 months on … Advantage ED

It was approximately half past five in the evening on Saturday 14 July 2012 – the last day of our trip and we were approaching Port Elizabeth airport.

British Airways Boeing Flight 6237 from JHB to PLZ was about to land. We couldn’t see from which direction because outside it looked like pea-soup! The pilot had said that there was a strong southerly wind blowing and that it was raining hard.

We had read that the coast was in the grips of a severe storm and I had phoned the airways before we left to ensure that all was in order. I was assured that all flights were travelling normally.

But this landing was far from normal … you couldn’t see a thing until we emerged from the cloud just above the Port Elizabeth harbour. The wind was buffeting the plane from the left side as we came down with the engines racing. The we lurched to the right, back to the left and then hit the ground hard … bump, bump, bump! Heads hit the lockers and people screamed. We shuddered, skidding from left to right to left along the runway, and then returned to normal as we slowly taxied to the airport building and parked right in front of the arrivals section.

There was a cacophony of noise inside the plane – nervous tension being released, I think – as passengers shouted, laughed, giggled and finally applauded the pilot for landing us safely. I would love to know at what point he would have decided to abort the landing; but we really had come back to earth with a bump! Both literally and figuratively!

The wind was howling and the rain was pouring down in sheets of water as we quickly sped across the concourse to the airport building. Port Elizabeth (and the country) was in the grips of a killer storm, and we had landed at the height of it. (It was howling, raining, flooding, snowing and had been since Thursday and was to continue until Monday.)

In the warmth of the arrivals terminal we collected our thoughts and our luggage. Then dashed to Kerri Botha’s double cab and slowly made our way home through the dark, windswept, wet, deluged streets of Port Elizabeth.

Once home, the boys quickly off-loaded the luggage in the pouring rain. We were all eager to see Charlie and he was nowhere to be found! Then suddenly he appeared at the sliding door on the front stoep – wet and cold and jumping all over us!

Yes – we were home – Charlie was our welcoming party in the height of the storm!

We ordered in burgers from Steers and started unpacking: washing, dirty clothes, crumpled clothes, summer clothes, winter clothes, new clothes, old clothes, pamphlets, passports, tickets, booklets, unused bahts, chargers, cables, phones, toiletries … it was the end of our trip.

As we unpacked our suitcases, we unpacked our memories and our thoughts of a magnificent holiday. Each item unpacked had some connotation attached to it and we shared this with each other. Later, the laptops, the I-Pads, the cameras and the photos were produced, compared, laughed at, recollected, transferred, stored, face-booked, emailed and shared with the world.

This would continue on Sunday and Monday and … who knows … as the storm abated, we would slowly come back to earth and return to normal life: Phillip back to the boarding house on Sunday, Pera back to work on Monday, Sean discovering that he still had a week’s holiday  ( at 9pm Saturday evening he was called out to do emergency NSRI rescue duty!) … and me?

Well, there’s the documenting of our holiday that needs to be done and will keep me occupied for the next few days.

In my mind, I have been comparing Life to a Holiday. There are so many similarities.

So, watch this space, as I try to share our exciting journey with you … and enjoy the pictures with us!

In the meantime, it was great falling asleep in my bed for the first time in three weeks!

Our grateful thanks are extended to all who made this trip possible.

 And to

  •          the Bryants from Plett who shared their holiday with us and did all the hard work as the tour guides
  •          Tyler Botha for looking after Charlie and the house
  •          The Uptons, Reelers, Moolmans and Keelings for their hospitality in Pretoria
  •          Cheryl Price and Kerri Botha for airport transfers